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Sanctuary of Rome's 'Founder' Revealed
Yahoo! News (AP) ^ | 11/20/2007 | Ariel David

Posted on 11/20/2007 10:08:23 AM PST by Pyro7480

ROME - Archaeologists on Tuesday unveiled an underground grotto believed to have been revered by ancient Romans as the place where a wolf nursed the city's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus.

Decorated with seashells and colored marble, the vaulted sanctuary is buried 52 feet inside the Palatine hill, the palatial center of power in imperial Rome, the archaeologists said at a news conference.

In the past two years, experts have been probing the space with endoscopes and laser scanners, fearing that the fragile grotto, already partially caved-in, would not survive a full-scale dig, said Giorgio Croci, an engineer who worked on the site.

The archaeologists are convinced that they have found the place of worship where Romans believed a she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the god of war Mars who were abandoned in a basket and left adrift on the Tiber.

Thanks to the wolf, a symbol of Rome to this day, the twins survived, and Romulus founded the city, becoming its first king after killing Remus in a power struggle.

Ancient texts say the grotto known as the "Lupercale"_ from "lupa," Latin for she-wolf — was near the palace of Augustus, Rome's first emperor, who was said to have restored it, and was decorated with a white eagle.

That symbol of the Roman Empire was found atop the sanctuary's vault, which lies just below the ruins of the palace built by Augustus, said Irene Iacopi, the archaeologist in charge of the Palatine and the nearby Roman Forum.

Augustus, who ruled from the late 1st century B.C. to his death in the year 14, was keen on being close to the places of Rome's mythical foundation and used the city's religious traditions to bolster his hold on power, Iacopi said.

"The Lupercale must have had an important role in Augustus' policies," she said. "He saw himself as a new Romulus."

Andrea Carandini, a professor of archaeology at Rome's La Sapienza University and an expert on the Palatine, said the grotto is almost certainly the "Lupercale."

"The chances that it's not are minimal," said Carandini, who did not take part in the dig. "It's one of the greatest discoveries ever made."

Most of the sanctuary is filled with earth, but laser scans allowed experts to estimate that the circular structure has a height of 26 feet and a diameter of 24 feet, Croci said.

Archaeologists at the news conference were divided on how to gain access to the "Lupercale."

Iacopi said a new dig would start soon to find the grotto's original entrance at the bottom of the hill. Carandini suggested enlarging the hole at the top through which probes have been lowered so far, saying that burrowing at the base of the hill could disturb the foundations of other ruins.

The Palatine is honeycombed with palaces and other ancient monuments, from the 8th-century B.C. remains of Rome's first fledgling huts to a medieval fortress and Renaissance villas. But the remains are fragile and plagued by collapses, leaving more than half of the hill, including Augustus' palace, closed to the public.

Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli said the first area to benefit from an extensive, $17.5 million restoration of the hills' ruins will be Augustus' palace, scheduled to reopen in February after being closed for decades.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancientrome; archaeology; godsgravesglyphs; italy; romanempire; rome
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This photo made available by the Italian Culture Ministry during a press conference in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2007, shows an underground grotto believed to have been worshipped by ancient Romans as the place where a wolf nursed the city's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus. Decorated with seashells and colored marble, the vaulted sanctuary lies buried 16 meters (52 feet) inside the Palatine hill, the palatial center of power in imperial Rome. (AP Photo/Italian Culture Ministry, HO)
1 posted on 11/20/2007 10:08:24 AM PST by Pyro7480
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG ping!


2 posted on 11/20/2007 10:08:43 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: blam

Ping!............


3 posted on 11/20/2007 10:11:09 AM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: Red Badger

Thanks. (Bump)


4 posted on 11/20/2007 10:13:50 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Pyro7480

Very cool...


5 posted on 11/20/2007 10:14:21 AM PST by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: Pyro7480

Awesome discovery. I credit the Romulus and Remus legend a little more now that I saw a show on Discovery (I think) about a Russian boy that was an orphan and lived with dogs on the street.


6 posted on 11/20/2007 10:15:31 AM PST by Greg F (Duncan Hunter is a good man.)
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To: Pyro7480

Fascinating.


7 posted on 11/20/2007 10:16:42 AM PST by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: Pyro7480

Pyro: Thanks for posting this.

My only ‘Humm’ on this is that I was under the impression that this was a fictional story.

So are they saying this is NOT fiction?

Or that this is the REAL location of a fictional event?


8 posted on 11/20/2007 10:17:11 AM PST by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (To those who believe the world was safer with Saddam, get treatment for that!)
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To: Sacajaweau

Very cool indeed. It’s amazing how much has survived until now.


9 posted on 11/20/2007 10:17:51 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Pyro7480

Romulus

Remus

10 posted on 11/20/2007 10:22:15 AM PST by LexBaird (Behold, thou hast drinken of the Aide of Kool, and are lost unto Men.)
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To: ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton

It’s where the ancient Roman believed the legend took place.


11 posted on 11/20/2007 10:22:19 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: LexBaird; Pyro7480

OK, I admit, I laughed.

But seriously, interesting article! Thanks for posting.


12 posted on 11/20/2007 10:26:14 AM PST by RosieCotton ("Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." -- G.K. Chesterton [NaNo Count 41465/50000])
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To: Pyro7480
We were in Rome this summer and the Palatine hill was one of our favorite places--we went twice, in fact. It's basically a park full of wildflowers and ruins and amazingly uncrowded, compared to the other sights. Hot tip: the same ticket gets you into the adjacent Colosseum, but there's no line to buy it at the Palatine hill. Get your ticket there, see the sights, then cruise past the long ticket line at the Colosseum.


13 posted on 11/20/2007 10:27:54 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep

Thanks for the tip, Mr. Steves.


14 posted on 11/20/2007 10:30:55 AM PST by Andyman (The truth shall make you freep.)
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep

I was in Rome last Christmas and Palatine Hill was also our favorite place. Went twice and could have gone again. This find is very important!


15 posted on 11/20/2007 10:40:15 AM PST by mickey finn
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To: Pyro7480

How long before the Muslims come in and blow it up like they destroyed the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001...


16 posted on 11/20/2007 10:44:45 AM PST by Proverbs 3-5
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To: Pyro7480

Great story, thanks for posting it. I read somewhere that in old Latin the word for female wolf was similar to a slang term for prostitute and that maybe the legend of the twins being nursed by a she-wolf was a distortion of the fact that their mother was a prostitute. Which implies that there was an historical Romulus and Remus, of course.


17 posted on 11/20/2007 10:45:07 AM PST by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: mickey finn
I was in Rome last Christmas and Palatine Hill was also our favorite place. Went twice and could have gone again. This find is very important!

Yeah, it's terrific, isn't it. Just a fascinating place. Did you get to go to Torre Argentina? It's the site where Julius Caesar was assassinated and is now a cat sanctuary. Literally hundreds of cats live there, right where Caesar fell.

18 posted on 11/20/2007 10:47:43 AM PST by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: Pyro7480
Thanx. I remember the Palatine from our trip.

It's a good thing the other brother didn't win, we'd be calling it Remu.

19 posted on 11/20/2007 10:48:33 AM PST by purpleraine
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To: Pyro7480

I always considered it fortuitous that Romulus won the combat with his brother. I can’t conceive much reverence for the “glories of ancient Reme.”


20 posted on 11/20/2007 10:50:38 AM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: Pyro7480
I visited Rome two years ago. The entire Forum with adjacent sites is fascinating. We hopped a bus to Ostia Antica outside Rome but sadly got lost. Must go back!
21 posted on 11/20/2007 10:52:06 AM PST by Oratam (")
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Ciao everybody...


22 posted on 11/20/2007 10:54:28 AM PST by battlegearboat
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To: Greg F
Awesome discovery. I credit the Romulus and Remus legend a little more now that I saw a show on Discovery (I think) about a Russian boy that was an orphan and lived with dogs on the street.

There is also the legend that Rome was founded by Aeneas, a Trojan who fled to what we now call Italy after the sack of Troy. I am not sure how the two legends relate, but would like to know.

23 posted on 11/20/2007 10:56:10 AM PST by stripes1776
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep

Is that the place where all the cats are?


24 posted on 11/20/2007 10:59:49 AM PST by Lx ((Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.))
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To: stripes1776
There is also the legend that Rome was founded by Aeneas, a Trojan who fled to what we now call Italy after the sack of Troy. I am not sure how the two legends relate, but would like to know.

I think Romulus and Remus were supposed to be descendants of Aeneas.

25 posted on 11/20/2007 11:00:31 AM PST by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: stripes1776

Romulus and Remus were supposedly descended from Aeneas.


26 posted on 11/20/2007 11:00:34 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: jalisco555

Within 3 secs of each other. ;-)


27 posted on 11/20/2007 11:01:09 AM PST by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: Lx

That’s Torre Argentina.

http://www.romancats.com/


28 posted on 11/20/2007 11:01:45 AM PST by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: Pyro7480

LOL. Great minds and all that.


29 posted on 11/20/2007 11:02:35 AM PST by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: jalisco555; Pyro7480; Greg F
I think Romulus and Remus were supposed to be descendants of Aeneas.

Romulus and Remus were supposedly descended from Aeneas.

Thanks for the information. I have wanted to read Virgil's Aenead for a long time. Maybe I will find time next summer.

30 posted on 11/20/2007 11:14:14 AM PST by stripes1776
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To: Pyro7480

“Ancient texts say the grotto known as the “Lupercale”_ from “lupa,” Latin for she-wolf — was near the palace of Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, who was said to have restored it, and was decorated with a white eagle.

That symbol of the Roman Empire was found atop the sanctuary’s vault, which lies just below the ruins of the palace built by Augustus, said Irene Iacopi, the archaeologist in charge of the Palatine and the nearby Roman Forum.

Augustus, who ruled from the late 1st century B.C. to his death in the year 14, was keen on being close to the places of Rome’s mythical foundation and used the city’s religious traditions to bolster his hold on power, Iacopi said.”

______________________________________________________________

The Romans were hilarious in that regard. They literally invented their founding mythology, knowing damn well what their origins really were: A minor Latin tribe ruled over by the Etruscans.

Augustus deliberately rewrote and embroidered Rome’s origins. He after all commissioned the writer Virgil (making him an offer he couldn’t refuse) to dream up the Aneid out of whole cloth; inserting the wandering Trojan warrior Aneas and inserting him into Rome’s founding.

Something tells me this “grotto” is of a piece with Augustus’s propaganda.


31 posted on 11/20/2007 11:14:40 AM PST by sinanju
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To: Greg F

“I credit the Romulus and Remus legend a little more now that I saw a show on Discovery (I think) about a Russian boy that was an orphan and lived with dogs on the street.”

Check this out, then.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/05/03/1019441429528.html

http://www.feralchildren.com/en/showchild.php?ch=kamala


32 posted on 11/20/2007 11:14:47 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: mickey finn

The other really cool spot in Rome was the San Clemente church. It’s a 12th Century church, but then you go into the basement and it’s a church from the 4th Century, with frescoes still remaining on the walls. Go down another level and you’re at 1st Century Roman street level, with a series of rooms that were an apartment building, an alleyway, a small Mithraic temple and more. We wandered around that place a long time.


33 posted on 11/20/2007 11:17:20 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep
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To: jalisco555

Thank you.


34 posted on 11/20/2007 11:22:48 AM PST by Lx ((Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.))
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To: Lx

My pleasure. It’s a fun place to visit if you ever get the chance.


35 posted on 11/20/2007 11:26:04 AM PST by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: jalisco555

I was just in Rome last month. I wish I had gone there.


36 posted on 11/20/2007 11:40:41 AM PST by Lx ((Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.))
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To: Lx
I was just in Rome last month. I wish I had gone there.

Just means that you have to go back. We went there on our second visit to Rome.

37 posted on 11/20/2007 12:00:43 PM PST by jalisco555 ("The only thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history." Winston Churchill)
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To: battlegearboat

Is that Sophia Loren as Aldonza/ Dulcinea?


38 posted on 11/20/2007 12:53:01 PM PST by paudio
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To: Bubba Ho-Tep
I would add the scavi tour. Its on the internet. Under St. Peters. Only two tours of 10 people each per day. Book in advance.

Claims a view into the burial place of St. Peter. We did go through burial sites for many Roman families and looked in the wall where they had escavated under the main altar.

39 posted on 11/20/2007 4:35:31 PM PST by purpleraine
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To: Pyro7480

Too Cool!


40 posted on 11/20/2007 5:38:16 PM PST by SmithL (I don't do Barf Alerts, you're old enough to read and decide for yourself)
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To: Pyro7480

Nice photos.

More Clues in the Legend (or Is It Fact?) of Romulus[Rome]
The New York Times | 12 June 2007 | JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Posted on 06/13/2007 9:21:26 AM EDT by BGHater
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1849455/posts


41 posted on 11/20/2007 6:56:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Sunday, November 18, 2007"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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even more pictures:

Mythical Roman cave ‘unearthed’[Cave of Romulus and Remus?]
BBC | 20 Nov 2007 | BBC
Posted on 11/20/2007 3:47:31 PM EST by BGHater
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1928506/posts


42 posted on 11/20/2007 6:59:50 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Sunday, November 18, 2007"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Pyro7480; BGHater; GovernmentIsTheProblem; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Pyro7480, BGHater, and GovernmentIsTheProblem.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


43 posted on 11/20/2007 7:02:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Sunday, November 18, 2007"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'"'https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

ooooh!

good one.


44 posted on 11/20/2007 7:05:26 PM PST by ken21 ( people die + you never hear from them again.)
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To: Pyro7480

Wow...great recent shot! Thanks.


45 posted on 11/20/2007 7:58:24 PM PST by spyone
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To: battlegearboat

Oh. My!


46 posted on 11/20/2007 8:01:47 PM PST by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
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To: ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton

“Or that this is the REAL location of a fictional event?”

Troy was thought to be a fictional event. I think that behind every story is a kernel of truth and I don’t think the Romulus/Remus story is so far out that its beyond the realm of credibility.


47 posted on 11/21/2007 6:14:45 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: Proverbs 3-5

If they ever take over Europe, we can kiss good-by to everything from Tara to the Acropolis.


48 posted on 11/21/2007 6:15:35 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: jalisco555

Lupa can mean she-wolf or female prostitute.


49 posted on 11/21/2007 6:16:07 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: battlegearboat

Very nice, but wrong city - Naples.


50 posted on 11/21/2007 6:16:50 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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